Watch Dogs Stunt Essentially Shows The Game With Photorealistic Graphics

What would Ubisoft's late-May open-world hacking game look like in real life? This Watch Dogs video shows you.

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It's in the vein of other real-world super-power stunt videos that'll have you wondering if this is a genuine hoax (oxymoron!) using real people as patsies...or if everyone involved is an actor. Either way, the game's fantasy is brought into live action and looks pretty cool in the process.

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To contact the author of this post, write to stephentotilo@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo.

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DISCUSSION

I'm pretty certain this is staged. Disclaimer: Inductive reasoning and lots of assumptions based on trends regarding modern human behavior

  • Most people who want to get a phone fixed don't go to a random street corner store to do so. They'd take it to a carrier-specific store, or in the case of iPhone/WinPhone owners, an Apple Store/Microsoft Store.
  • Most phone problems can't be fixed just by taking it into a backroom for a few minutes, or even an hour. If those people had real problems, then it's unlikely the guy managed to fix them that quickly.
  • You can't install custom apps on a phone with a snap of your fingers (unless it's an open ecosystem, like Android).
  • If you tell someone you installed a custom app on your phone, most young adults (who tend to be tech-savvy) wouldn't grin like they just got something for free; they'd assume it was spyware or some kind of surveillance. They'd demand it be removed.
  • Lots of people are too scared to break the law (or actually *gasp* have some degree of morality and ethics) and many would protest, leave, or show signs of discomfort after unlocking cars, popping street lights, ATMs spitting out free money...
  • Stunts like the car accidents would be extremely expensive to reproduce repeatedly (assuming each accident involved five cars, you'd need to have at least 25 vehicles in working order). Most likely they just filmed the large traffic accident once, then filmed staged responses separately.

Devil's advocate: Most of these can be explained away by "video editing".

Perhaps a heavy amount of selective editing was used such that they only showed users who 1.) had small, fixable problems with their phone that could be instantly rectified, 2.) happened to own a phone that could sideload apps quickly, like a jailbroken iPhone or an Android, 3.) were not tech-savvy enough to understand the risks of having apps installed without their permission, 4.) responded enthusiastically to the law-breaking spree they just committed.

And perhaps the "big" car accident was just several car accidents, each involving one or two cars, all edited together to make it seem like a big accident.

If any of the above is true, and this was, in fact, not staged, then professionally I'd evaluate this as being rather poorly-edited, as most of these editing decisions contributed to an overall sense of fakeness.